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Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Photo of laptop and cup of coffeeIf you are struggling to get started writing your assignments and find there is always something else more interesting to do, why not get together with your mates and form a “shut up and write” group.  The rules are:

  • You meet up, bringing your laptops and notes
  • You get a coffee and catch up until the time you have agreed to start
  • Then everyone sits down and writes solidly for 25 minutes (use a timer) without any breaks or chatting
  • After 25 minutes, everyone stops for a short break (e.g. ten minutes), gets another coffee if necessary, and has a chat
  • Then everyone writes again for another 25 minutes
  • And so on …

You could do this at somebody’s flat, the Union, or the Learning Cafe at Paisley Campus.

Concentrating on one thing for 25 minutes is called the Pomodoro technique, and is a well known time management method.  If you’d like some help with time management and getting your coursework completed there are lots of books available in the Library, or you could ask one of the Effective Learning tutors for advice.

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Wikipedia publish a useful leaflet on evaluating the quality of Wikipedia articles [PDF file]. The leaflet gives background about how Wikipedia works and how articles are produced, and has tips for identifying good and bad quality articles. 

The full text [PDF file] of the leaflet is available online, and can be distributed under using the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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The Wellcome Trust, the Guardian and The Observer have launched a competition for science journalism.  The competition is open to everyone who is not a professional writer.

“We want to identify some of the best writing about the remarkable ideas and stories emerging from the world’s laboratories, field trips and research journals … You might be a new PhD student laying out your research ideas, a seasoned blogger who writes about science in his spare time, or a professor of biology discussing a new idea in her field. You might be none of the above and, instead, someone who just looks at the world in wonder and wants to write about what you see.”

Thirty short-listed entrants will be invited to take part in a science writing workshop, and the winning articles (one by a professional scientist and one by a writer who isn’t a professional scientist) will be published in the Guardian or The Observer.  The winners will also receive £1000.

Competition details can be found on the Wellcome Trust’s website.  The closing date is 30th May.

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Photograph of lab bench with bottles of chemicals, droppers, etc.Bioscience Horizons publishes research papers from undergraduate bioscientists based at UK or Republic of Ireland universities.  The papers are written by students about their final year research projects.

The journal is freely available online from Oxford University Press.


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Dr Frank Burnet, Emeritus Professor of Science Communication at the University of the West of England, has produced two ebooks about science communication.  These are now available on the Science Base website.

The books cover Why and how to communicate your research [PDF file] and Taking science to people [PDF file].  They are aimed at scientists and science communicators, and include advice on activities like planning and getting funding for science events.

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